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Toyon California Holly Heteromeles arbutifolia 20 seeds USA Company

Toyon California Holly Heteromeles arbutifolia 20 seeds USA Company

Regular price $12.99 USD
Regular price $15.99 USD Sale price $12.99 USD
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Heteromeles arbutifolia, commonly known as toyon or California holly, is a species of flowering plant in the rose family (Rosaceae) native to the western United States, particularly California. Here are some key features and characteristics:

Appearance: Toyon is an evergreen shrub or small tree that typically grows to heights of 6 to 15 feet (1.8 to 4.6 meters), although it can occasionally reach up to 25 feet (7.6 meters) tall. It has a dense, rounded crown with glossy, dark green leaves that are leathery and serrated along the margins. In late spring to early summer, it produces small, white flowers in dense clusters, followed by bright red berries in the fall and winter.

Berries: The berries of Heteromeles arbutifolia are a key feature, often persisting on the plant well into winter. They are a valuable food source for birds, particularly during the colder months when other food may be scarce. The berries are not typically consumed by humans due to their bitter taste and mildly toxic properties.

Habitat: Toyon is found in a variety of habitats throughout California, including chaparral, coastal sage scrub, oak woodlands, and riparian areas. It is well adapted to a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Toyon is often used in landscaping and revegetation projects due to its tolerance of drought and its ability to attract wildlife.

Cultural Significance: Heteromeles arbutifolia has cultural significance for Indigenous peoples in California, who used various parts of the plant for food, medicine, and ceremonial purposes. The berries were traditionally harvested and eaten by Native Americans, who prepared them into a variety of dishes, including porridge and cider. The plant also holds cultural significance in California history and folklore and is sometimes referred to as "California holly" due to its resemblance to European holly (Ilex aquifolium).

Landscaping: Toyon is commonly used in landscaping throughout California and other regions with similar climates. It is valued for its attractive foliage, flowers, and berries, as well as its ability to provide habitat and food for wildlife. Toyon can be grown as a specimen plant, hedge, or screen, and it is relatively low-maintenance once established.

Overall, Heteromeles arbutifolia is a versatile and ecologically valuable plant, prized for its beauty, cultural significance, and role in supporting native wildlife in California's diverse ecosystems.

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